SO MUCH TO KNOW –
I’ll never get it!
PREVIOUS: Recovery – IS & ISN’T
REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
ACoAs are some of the smartest, most intuitive people around.
We had to be – to survive our childhood! But we:
a. don’t acknowledge it (taught to not trust our judgment)
b. are ashamed of it (taught to not think so highly of ourselves)
c. are missing basic, ‘normal’ info about ourselves & the world
1. LACK OF INFO
a. About Alcoholism in the family, denial. THAT:
• they were drunk, or that their drinking effected us
• we were abused & neglected (abuse is perpetrated on one or more of the 4 levels: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual)
• we were molested, sexually or physically abused
• we carry deep pain, from all that abandonment
• their damage & our was not our fault or responsibility
• we don’t have to suffer any more
• we have a right to be here
• we can trust our intuition -etc.
b. About Healthy Living
• what process actually is & how to use it
• what clear, sane thinking ‘sounds’ like
• that we have options & what they may be
• what we want to be / do, when we ‘grow up’ – some of us do
know, but are not allowed to go for it & we’re too scared to fail
• how to live without constant crisis, abuse, anxiety
• that we don’t have to manipulate to get our needs met
• that we can take care of ourselves, if we grow a Healthy Adult
• how to be kind to our Inner Child – grow a Loving Parent!
• what mental health is (see posts on ‘Recovery’)
• how the rest of world actually functions
• what reality is – mental, emotional, physical
• what to SAY to people when they say hurtful or outrageous things
what healthy people are like EXP: ACoAs think they don’t get angry, overwhelmed, make mistakes, love relationships…
• why other people do what they do (get away with things, are entitled, can function well…)
• what is NORMAL – which has 2 meanings:
i. the opposite of crazy. Our S-H says we are crazy & everyone else is normal. Yes, we do have distorted thinking, which can be corrected – but that doesn’t make us nuts.
It’s normal to: have emotions, to succeed via process, to mourn losses, to not get along with every one, all the time, to have some damage….
ii. what is average – for humans, & in your society
It’s about the behaviors & attitudes common to the majority. But in this meaning, normal is not always healthy! It’s what the norm was where you grew up, in your religion, in your neighborhood & school… SO – normal could have been – drinking to excess, physical danger, verbal abuse, insensitivity, lack of education…OR being up tight, having to succeed, always looking good, doing the ‘right thing’…
It’s normal to: laugh when someone gets hurt or makes a fool of themselves, to not help strangers in trouble, to stare at an accident on the street…
a. Not possible or unlikely
• our parent to love us, unconditionally
• to be free of all pain & suffering
• to have relationships that never end
• to be liked & wanted by everyone, all the time
• to be a star, be famous, be adored, worshiped
b. Can be worked towards & accomplished
• diminish S-H & gain self-esteem
• be heard/ listened to/ get healthy attention
• healthy friends & mates
• improved health & appearance
• an enjoyable career, creative outlets
• to belong & be accepted
• respected, treated well
• feel comfortable, safe, secure
• have fun, relax, enjoy life – etc.
3. What ACoAs DO Know
• what really happened to us as kids (abuse, neglect, coercion, torture) – BUT don’t want admit or deal with
• some of the things we want in life – BUT are not allowed to have
• what we’ve learned and accomplished since we left home – BUT not allowed to admit or own it
• ALL the things we figured out on our own, as kids and as adult – BUT don’t value or validate, because of:
— S-H – we deserved anything bad that happened to us (then and now)
— shame – not allowed to have our need or our value our accomplishments
— lack of healthy mirroring – our real self wasn’t validated by our family, so we negate our natural abilities
➼ SELF-ESTEEM comes from validation & unconditional regard / love.
Validation means admitting what we know & learning what we don’t. Regard is being kind, patient & respectful toward ourselves. It’s never too late to have a happy life!
NEXT: Loneliness – Lack of Comfort